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  • Kelowna Rockets' Carter Rigby (Marissa Baecker, Getty Images)

    No. 1 star: Carter Rigby, Kelowna Rockets (WHL)

    Rigby, who recently returned after missing a dozen games due to shoulder injury, scored his first three goals of the season to help Kelowna eviscerate the Everett Silvertips 8-2.

    The 5:05 p.m. puckdrop in Everett meant the Rockets were playing their third game in 2½ days. Rigby, an 18-year-old who was passed over in the NHL draft this summer despite having a 21-goal season, broke the game open by scoring with 6:39 left in the second period to open a 4-1 edge. The Penticton, B.C. native's confidence spiked with that goal, as he scored two more to turn the game into a rout.

    Tyson Baillie (2A, +3) had the first assist on two of Rigby's goals. Draft-year defenceman Madison Bowey also had a plus-4 night.

    Read More »from Kelowna Rockets’ Carter Rigby buries hat trick: Sunday’s 3 Stars
  • Ryan Strome is third in CHL scoring with 50 points (OHL Images)

    The hockey industry needs the NHL lockout to end, of course. It gets easier and easier to wait for the big league to end its labour standoff when junior hockey offers up moments such as the outstanding comeback Ryan Strome, Dougie Hamilton and the Niagara IceDogs had on Saturday night.

    The two top-10 NHL picks were on Team Canada when it came within inches of coming back from five goals down to tie Russia in world junior semifinal in Calgary nearly 11 months ago. A Sudbury Wolves-IceDogs game in St. Catharines, Ont., involves smaller stakes and a smaller stages, but what happened is worth being called the Garden City miracle. The IceDogs earned a 6-5 shootout win after being down 5-1 to Sudbury with fewer than six minutes to play.

    Where else but junior does a team overcome a four-goal deficit in the final 5½ minutes of regulation time, while killing off a penalty during that stretch? It's madness, I tells ya. It all starts 1:53 into TV Cogeco Ontario's recap.

    Read More »from New York Islanders prospect Ryan Strome sets up 4 goals in epic comeback (VIDEO)
  • Dougie Hamilton (left) and Ryan Strome (Terry Wilson, OHL Images)

    No. 1 stars: Dougie Hamilton and Ryan Strome, Niagara IceDogs (OHL)

    It's a coach job to always foresee disaster lurking. When Sudbury Wolves coach Trent Cull vociferously argued a too-many-call against his team with 5:31 left, people might have wondered why he was so upset since his team was leading the Niagara IceDogs 5-1.

    It turned out to be prophetic. Hamilton (1G-2A, +1) and Strome (4A) set up a goal off the ensuing faceoff, igniting the damnedest comeback in a month of Mondays. Niagara scored four goals in the final 5:30 of regulation, including twice in the final 30 seconds, before Strome and Hamilton each converted in the shootout for the 6-5 win.

    Strome, the New York Islanders prospect, assisted on all four of the goals during the rally. The IceDogs twice scored goals fewer than 45 seconds apart, sandwiched around a penalty kill, to force OT. Hamilton got the 5-4 goal with 27.3 ticks on the clock after Strome fed him the puck at that point. With scarcely little time to tie the game, Niagara gained the offensive zone and Strome zipped a cross-crease pass that Dallas Stars prospect Brett Ritchie one-timed home with :07 on the clock.

    Read More »from Dougie Hamilton, Ryan Strome direct the Garden City miracle: Saturday’s 3 Stars
  • Deyo, 25, is having her right kidney removed in December (photo courtesy Missy Deyo)Missy Deyo, who lives on the Internet, is also fighting to live a full life.

    Now the way 25-year-old who is the social media co-ordinator for her hometown Kingston Frontenacs has combined those two themes of her life will likely extend untold lives throughout North America. Deyo is awaiting surgery on Dec. 14 to remove her right kidney — which was actually her better one — in hope of relieving lifelong health problems.

    Despair would be the easy way out for someone who thrived on working "13-hour days" as a retail store manager before being waylaid by illness 23 months ago. Having more than 8,250 Twitter followers (@miss_deyo), Deyo realized she has a platform. On Wednesday, she launched the So, So Much Hope Campaign, intended to increase blood and organ donation in Canada and the United States. Her goal is to get 1,000 people people to become blood or organ donors by Christmas 2013. That might have be upped: in barely three days, 59 people registered with the Be A Donor Campaign. All told, thanks to Deyo's prompt, 115 people have at least made an appointment to give blood and/or explore being an organ donor.

    It speaks to the fast-forming bonds that grow between people just through the love of hockey.

    Read More »from Awaiting kidney removal, Missy Deyo finds a cause — and hope — through hockey
  • Jordan Binnington (right) is in Team Canada's netminding mix (Getty Images)

    A clearer head has prevailed for Jordan Binnington, which is why he's delivering winning goaltending in his final junior season.

    The Owen Sound Attack goalie's potential has long been evident — top goalie in the MasterCard Memorial Cup in 2011, drafted by the St. Louis Blues that summer, in Hockey Canada's mix for the national junior team. The 19-year-old has looked much more self-possessed this season with the Attack, where he has a 186-minute, two-second scoreless streak heading into a first-place showdown with the London Knights. (Update: the streak ended at 211:56.)

    "The model I go by is relaxed intensity," says Binnington. "You got to stay relaxed and patient but you have to stay intense at the same time, for when the shot comes, when you have to react. That's what I go by, relaxed intensity. Keep your shoulders back, let the game back to you. Jon Elkin, my goalie coach in Owen Sound, really enforces that."

    Maintaining that state of mind amid a maelstrom of crease-crashing opponents poking away for the puck is easier said than done. Binnington is quick to credit teammates for his success, saying, "We got guys like Nathan Chiarlitti, [Zach] Nastasiuk, blocking shots and sacrificing their bodies like crazy. That's what you need to do on a championship team." There's also a little more to it.

    Read More »from Blues prospect Jordan Binnington building case to be part of Team Canada
  • Laurent Dauphin has 12 points in his past 7 games (The Canadian Press)

    No. 1 star: Laurent Dauphin, Chicoutimi Saguenéens (QMJHL)

    The top rookie scorer in the Q played older than he really is, getting three points to help the Saguenéens surge back to for a 5-4 shootout win in Victoriaville after spotting the Tigres a three-goal lead in the opening 20 minutes. Dauphin, 17, was Chicoutimi's first-round choice in 2011 and is proving he was worth waiting a season for (he is only 6-foot and 166 pounds, so it was probably for the best for him not to take a pounding as a 16-year-old).

    After Victoriaville went up 3-0, Dauphin resurrected the Saguenéens in the second period with a goal and an assist. Chicoutimi was down 4-3 and playing short-handed when Dauphin set up Simon Tremblay for the tying goal (Chicoutimi's second shorty of the night). That enabled Chicoutimi to go on to win the skills competition.

    Dauphin has 31 points on the season, including 12 in his past seven games.

    Read More »from Chicoutimi’s Laurent Dauphin flips the outcome: Friday’s 3 Stars
  • Sean Monahan is the OHL's top-ranked NHL draft prospect (Terry Wilson, OHL Images)

    Sean Monahan, if nothing else, will be rested when arrives at Canada's national junior team selection camp last month.

    Even though there was no penalty whistled on the play, there was reason to worry about the worst for the OHL's top draft prospect as soon his elbow struck the head of defenceman Colin MacDonald in last Sunday's Plymouth Whalers-Ottawa 67's game. Not much was said afterward, since suspensions of this nature are pretty much expected in the OHL. The head contact was discernible and now the 18-year-old centre and 67's co-captain has been shelved for 10 games, which covers the three weeks remaining before tryouts for Canada's entry in the IIHF world U20 hockey championship.

    It should not affect Monahan's draft stock. It could affect his readiness to try out for Team Canada; he'll be in a similar situation to the Oshawa Generals' Scott Laughton, who had to play in the Subway Super Series while serving a head-checking suspension.

    Read More »from OHL’s top prospect Sean Monahan gets 10 games for head shot
  • Erie Otters 15-year-old centre Connor McDavid (OHL Images)

    The arena the Erie Otters call home was just renovated and major junior hockey has come and gone in Hamilton, Ont., before — and neither of those facts really matter.

    Ultimately, it could come down to where the Otters' managing partner, the venerable Sherry Bassin, who is in his early 70s, wants to operate a franchise. That is why, even though the rumour about the Otters moving to the Hammer has come up before, one is inclined to believe there could be some meat on the bone. Perhaps it does play into Hamilton's dreaming-in-Technicolor NHL ambitionsget the AHL out, get the OHL in and that clears space for a big-league team, so the perhaps blue-sky thinking goes — but it is just not going away.

    Bassin has been a fixture in the Ontario Hockey League for decades. Moving Connor McDavid and Co. is only one potential exit plan for  someone who might be looking to scale back his workload. It is the one that's in the public realm, though.

    Read More »from Erie Otters-to-Hamilton rumours resurface, maybe they should be given some cred
  • Combing all corners of the country and the blogosphere for your junior hockey headlines ...

    WHL

    Regina Pats defenceman Colton Jobke, who had three tendons in his hand partially severed last month, is 4-6 weeks from playing. Meantime, he's grateful: "(The skate blade) only nicked my hand. If I would have had direct contact, I might be missing some fingers." (Regina Leader-Post)

    Patrick King tees up the Sportsnet Friday Night Hockey tilt, Toronto Maple Leafs hopeful Morgan Rielly and Moose Jaw vs. Edmonton. Fortunately for certain junior hockey scribes, only part of the game will conflict with the Vanier Cup. (Sportsnet)

    Prince George Cougars fans can look forward to promising 15-year-old Brad Morrison playing at least three more games as an underage this season. (Prince George Citizen)

    Tri-City star goalie Eric Comrie considers himself "half and half" Canadian and American. (FOX Sports West)

    Potential high NHL pick Curtis Lazar might win a Stanley Cup someday, but curling in the Brier is probably not happening. (Coming Down The Pipe!)

    Kelowna Rockets forward Ryan Olsen might have some added motivation this weekend, since he's facing his old Saskatoon team. That trope might also apply to Kamloops' Charles Inglis. (Regan's Rant)

    Kamloops Blazers defender Marek Hrbas has a shot at playing for the Czech Republic in the world junior. (Kamloops Daily News)

    Dave Leaderhouse is fulsome in his praise for the Prince Albert Raiders, who have not cooled off much since their fast start. (Prince Albert Daily Herald)

    OHL

    BTN's own Andrey Osadchenko and Steve Glynn recap NHL first overall pick Nail Yakupov's Ontario homecoming during the Subway Super Series. (KHL)

    The Erie Otters-to-Hamilton rumour has kicked up again. (Hamilton Spectator)

    Read More »from Patrick Roy reaches plateau: Friday’s coast-to-coast
  • Alex Galchenyuk lost nearly his entire draft year to knee surgery (OHL Images)

    Convention calls to do a gee-this-guy-is-good-at-hockey-post when a NHL first-round pick such as Alex Galchenyuk pulls off one bit of brilliance that might get 100,000 views on YouTube by the end of this sentence.

    However, that just seems to miss the point with how the Montreal Canadiens No. 3 overall choice is performing in his post-draft year for the Sarnia Sting while making up for last time after losing nearly all of last season due to injury. Being a great hockey player is not about being Internet-hot but being the complete package. There's enough snippets out there that, when pieced together, help convey that the 18-year-old Sting captain is working toward that now that he's healthy. He might be biggest force unto himself in the Ontario Hockey League, which is saying something in a season when high draft picks who are that all-important one year older such as the Winnipeg Jets' Mark Schiefele, New York Islanders' Ryan Strome and Boston Bruins' Dougie Hamilton were denied their shot at The Show by the NHL lockout. Galchenyuk's run could also augur well for Team USA.

    Read More »from Montreal Canadiens pick Alex Galchenyuk having a MVP-like roll for Sarnia Sting (VIDEO)

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